What caused a former Dallas Seminary professor to believe that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are being given today? What convinced someone skeptical about miracles that God still speaks and heals? A dramatic change took place in Jack Deere’s life when he took a fresh look at the Scriptures. He discovered that his arguments against miraculous gifts were based more on prejudice and lack of personal experience than on the Bible. As soon as Deere became a seeker instead of a skeptic, the Holy Spirit revealed himself in new and surprising ways. In Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, Deere provides a strong biblical defense for the Spirit’s speaking and healing ministries today. He also describes several reliable cases of people who were miraculously healed or who heard God speak in an unmistakable way. Finally, he gives sound advice for using spiritual gifts in the church. Written in a popular style, with the care of a scholar but the passion of personal experience, this book explores: the real reason Christians do not believe in miraculous gifts, responding to charismatic abuses, whether miracles were meant to be temporary, and why God still heals.
Originally published: c1993.;Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-292) and index.
‘When my friend Jack Deere asked me in 1992 to read and critique the manuscript of Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, I was at first honored and later overwhelmed by its persuasive and, in my opinion, irrefutable argumentation. I remain convinced it was the most important evangelical book of the 1990s. Now, much to my delight, Jack has extensively rewritten that book, although his convictions about what the Bible says concerning the Holy Spirit remain the same. With new stories of verified healings and testimonies of the life-changing power of the prophetic, Jack has ‘surprised’ me once again. More than twenty-five years have passed since his book released, and a new generation of Christians stands in great need of the profound biblical and practical insights that Jack brings to bear on this subject. Get it, read it, and discover why Jack is ‘still’ surprised by the person and power of the Spirit.’– SAM STORMS, pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City
‘This marvelous, game-changing work about the power of the Spirit is transformative and challenging. Jack Deere offers mature insights learned from Scripture, from enduring testing, and from a wider range of experience with spiritual gifts than most others, and we have much to learn from him. It’s a great privilege to endorse this book.’– CRAIG S. KEENER, F. M. and Ada Thompson professor of biblical studies, Asbury Theological Seminary
‘This book is like its author–bright, accessible, full of practical wisdom, and bursting with inspiring stories of God’s love and power.’– ANDREW WILSON, teaching pastor, King’s Church London
‘Since its publication in 1993, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit has been a brilliant introduction to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit at work in our world today. If you’re longing for a fresh baptism in the Holy Spirit–for the first time or the thousandth time–this new edition is for you. Jack Deere is a statesman in the body of Christ, and this is a wonderful update to what is arguably his classic work.’– PETE GREIG, author of How to Pray
‘More than twenty-five years ago, the story of Jack Deere’s encounter with the Holy Spirit rocked the evangelical world, as this cessationist seminary professor discovered to his great surprise that the Spirit was still speaking and healing today. Now, in the year 2020, Jack has shared his story anew with refreshing candor and wonderful biblical insight. I can’t wait to see how this new ‘Surprised’ book rocks a new generation of readers.’– DR. MICHAEL L. BROWN, host, The Line of Fire broadcast
‘This book is the perfect example of why I am still surprised by Jack Deere. With humility, winsomeness, and competence, he is able to bring biblical clarity to some of the fuzziest and most heavily debated topics in the church. A mix of easy-to-follow theology, church history, and personal experience, this book will kindly answer the skeptic, pastorally lead the student, and safely disciple the seeker.’– DAVID BOWDEN, author of Rewire Your Heart and founder, Spoken Gospel
Table of Contents:
SHOCKED and SURPRISED Chapter 1 The Phone Call That Changed My Life Chapter 2 Surprised by the Holy Spirit Chapter 3 Signs and Wimbers SHATTERED MISCONCEPTIONS Chapter 4 The Myth of Pure Biblical Objectivity Chapter 5 The Real Reason Christians Do Not Believe in the Miraculous Gifts Chapter 6 Responding to Spiritual Abuses Chapter 7 Scared to Death by the Holy Ghost Chapter 8 Were Miracles Meant to Be Temporary? Chapter 9 Why Does God Heal? Chapter 10 Why God Gives Miraculous Gifts Chapter 11 Why God Doesn’t Heal SEEKING THE GIFTS and THE GIVER Chapter 12 Pursuing the Gifts With Diligence Chapter 13 A Passion for God Chapter 14 Developing Passion and Power Epilogue Hearing God Speak Today APPENDICES Appendix A Other Reasons Why God Heals and Works Miracles Appendix B Did Miraculous Gifts Cease With the Apostles? Appendix C Were There Only Three Periods of Miracles?
When Jack Deere turned seventeen, he did not know God or a single verse of Scripture. At twenty-seven, he became a professor of Old Testament Exegesis and Semitic Languages at Dallas Theological Seminary. He started and pastored an influential church in Ft. Worth, Texas. He taught his church and his students that God no longer gave the miraculous gifts of the Spirit or spoke outside the pages of Scripture.
After teaching seminary for ten years, a bestselling author shocked Deere when he told him that he not only believed God was regularly healing people today, but that he had seen undeniable miracles in answer to his prayers. For the next four months, Deere studied every healing story in the New Testament. This time he came to those stories with the open mind of a scholar, completely at home in the original languages of the Bible, not as a gullible student swallowing the prejudices of his teachers. At the end of those four months, Deere was convinced, against his will, that God was still healing and speaking just as he had done in the New Testament.
Deere and his wife Leesa began to pray for people in their church and witnessed dramatic, documented healings.
In Why I Am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, Deere demonstrates that the Scriptures teach that God is healing and speaking today just as he did 2000 years ago. He tells documented stories of modern miracles. He explains the nature of spiritual gifts, defines each spiritual gift, offers sound advice on discovering and using the gifts in church today. He shows how all of this part of God’s way of deepening our friendship with him.
A modern classic, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit was published twenty-five years ago, and in that book Deere claimed that he would live long enough to see the majority of conservative evangelicals come to believe in all the gifts of the Spirit. That has come true. The theological landscape has changed dramatically. Nearly completely rewritten, this new edition still offers that proof but has about seventy percent new material on the practical matters of experiencing and using spiritual gifts. For example, anyone who prays regularly for the sick will encounter demonic power. Demons pop up all over the Synoptic Gospels. There are two new chapters on ministering to the demonized. There is much confusion on what it means to be filled with the Spirit today. Deere takes three chapters to examine every use of filled with the Spirit and full of the Spirit in the New Testament to show why and how God still fills his servants with the Holy Spirit. There are many new stories of God’s power, even walking on water and multiplying food. Deere also introduces the newest literature defending and explaining the gifts of the Spirit. All this and more continues the book’s legacy for a new time.
Jack Deere, formerly an associate professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, is a writer and lecturer who speaks throughout the world on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is the author of the bestselling book, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit.
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